As expected, Apple announced that its next media event is being held on Monday, March 21. Here’s a look back at some of the important news from the week that was.
Top news stories
Official invitation to next Apple event
A spring thaw
For the first time in history, Apple is prepping to announce a new iPhone and iPad at a springtime event. Both the “iPhone SE” and “9.7-inch iPad Pro” should launch on March 21.
For more on the event see:
- What to expect at Apple’s ‘Let us loop you in’March 21 media event
- What to expect in Apple’s ‘iOS 10’
- The Justice Department hits back at Apple in a new filing
President Obama wants our iPhones unlocked
Obama warned against technology companies taking an “absolutist view” on encryption, and he encouraged Apple not to wait for Congress to pass a new law before creating an iOS backdoor.
For now, Apple isn’t budging. There is a federal court hearing in the case on March 22.
On the App Store
EA announces next Plants vs. Zombies game
The epic battle between plants and zombies is continuing. EA announced that a brand new game, Plants vs. Zombies Heroes, will arrive on the App Store worldwide soon. It’s already been soft-launched in New Zealand.
Described as a collectible card game, similarities to the popular Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft are obvious. And in an interview with VentureBeat, EA’s Brian Lindley said the title was an inspiration:
“We took inspiration from other CCGs out there, and some of the team worked on Magic: The Gathering in the past,” Lindley said. “Hearthstone is both inspiration and competition. They took the genre in a good direction.”
The game will feature more than 300 different characters from the universe. A new offering will be Super Hero Plants and Zombies. For example, The Green Shadow is a hero that can take out zombies with her precision blast. And on the flip side, the Zombie Imp Hero can create multiple clones during battle.
Other apps and games making news:
New apps and games
Games in review
Each week, Christine Chan reviews new App Store titles
I highly recommend giving Ulysses Mobile a try if you haven’t already. It’s a powerful and comprehensive text editor that is flexible enough to work with you, for the most part.- Christine Chan
This week’s reviews feature a popular iPad and Mac writing app that is now available on iPhone, plus a new Wikipedia app:
- Solve puzzles and make a colorful mess in the charming Telepaint
- Go against conformity in the puzzles of Dream Machine : The Game
- Pilots of the Dawn is like Luftrausers but for iOS
- Disentangle and sort the microverse in Dirac, an intense puzzler
- Ulysses, a must-have tool for writers, is now on iPhone
- Viki is the most beautiful way to get Wikipedia on iOS
- Focus on one task at a time with Doo – Get Things Done
Christine's favorites this week
Withings Home camera joins with IFTTT
The interesting Withings Home camera is getting even more useful thanks to a new partnership with IFTTT.
If you’re not familiar with IFTTT, also known as “If This, Then That,” you should be. It can be used to create a bridge between the growing number of smart home products and services.
Here are a few examples:
Reinforce privacy: Turn off Withings Home automatically when I’m home, turn it back on when I’m away using geolocation from my phone.
Make security seamless: When I lock my door with my SmartThings door lock, my Withings Home will turn on. When there is a motion or noise alert, my Philips Hue lights will blink.
Improve home health: When bad air quality is detected, it will turn on my WeMo air purifier automatically or change the color of my Philips Hue light to red.
Other accessory news: